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Our Gun Powder Survival

THE end of the human race has been variously discussed, from a fanatic invasion from Mars to our extinction by a comet or a collision with another celestial body.


Now come two individuals, a statesman and an historian, and gravely tell us that wars will extinguish the human race. It is utter moonshine.


Lord Halifax, British ambassador to Washington, delivers himself of this poppycock:


"If the nations fail after this war to make the most of their opportunties to forge a lasting peace, the human race may come perilously near to self-extermination."


Mr. H.G. Wells, even more dramatically than Lord Halifax, states:


"If man does not adjust himself very soon to the changes his inventions have wrought in his environment, he will disappear as a species."


Here we have plain rhetoric, with no semblance to anything but the sloppiest thinking. What Lord Halifax and H.G. Wells fail to note is that the human race can breed faster than it can exterminate its members by sword and cannon.


In spite of the fact that wars have been going on from earliest recorded time, that they are getting bigger and and more technical in each succeeding age, and that global conflicts are now the order of the day, the population of the world has steadily increased. There are more people on the globe today than when Caesar conquered Gaul. How long do you think it would take 2,000,000,000 individuals, quarreling by means of gun-powder, to obliterate themselves?


War, as a blood-letting process, is less deadly than disease. Cancer, tuberculosis, and heart disease exact a bigger toll than war. In 1940, these three diseases caused the death of 610,525 persons. This is more than our total casualties in World War I. We survive these afflications as we survive our losses on the battlefield.


Our total casualties in World War I were 364,800. This is equal to the population of a city the size of Indianapolis. We survived World War I, as did every other nation that engaged in it, and had, at the last census, a total population of 131,669,275, the largest in our history. Not even the vaquished nations were obliterated. Germany came back for more, full of fight and fury, and made a nasty mess of things, as she is likely to do again, in World War 3 or even in World War 20, if she finds an opportunity.


Total American casualties in the present World War, as reported, July, 1944, were 299,474. This is about one-seventh the number of persons born each year. How long, at this rate, do you think it will take our enemies to wipe out the United States?


And what of other countriess fighting in this war? There are 457, 836,475 Chinese. Japan has been at war with China for the past seven years and hasn't even begun to scratch the surface of Chinese obliteration. Yet we are told that the human race will be exterminated by war.


What, too, of India with its population of 388,997,955? Even the bubonic plague and cholera and a high death rate (India is estimated to lose a million inhabitants annually from tuberculosis alone) have not prevented India from increasing its population. That unhappy land, with its cobras and religion, now has 54,000,000 more inhabitants than it had 50 years ago.


You cannot kill off the human race by wars. If you could, it would have been extinguished long ago.

Friends and Colleagues